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Spaced Repetition

Spaced repetition is a memory system which requires the user to recall specific detail relating to a ‘card’ from memory multiple times, with an increasing space between study times. It is an extremely efficient way to recall information, as it requires only marginally more time spent than reading something for the first and only time.

A key property of such systems is that they can program your attention: spending 10 minutes on Anki is a much easier choice than going through a library of cards and choosing ones to review on any given day.

Personally, I feel the use of spaced repetition systems is vastly underutilised, considering the outsized effects it has on memory retention and knowledge recall. I use the software Anki and am in the process of developing best practices as I learn how to structure cards and use the software itself.

Spaced repetition is used for the recall of basic facts, but not for evergreen notes, which could potentially be quite valuable. To this end, I’m currently experimenting with revising evergreen notes using Anki to program attention. I’m also using a writing inbox in Anki as a way to reliably re-surface writing prompts and notions that may be useful in the future.